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Sometimes CBSA isn't the boogey man after all

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Old September 18th, 2007, 03:42   #1
Gryphon
 
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Sometimes CBSA isn't the boogey man after all

Months ago I had ordered a slim foreend and SEF grip frame and trigger group from Japan to fit my Youth Engineering gas blowback MP5. It cost me a considerable chunk of cash as it had to be custom fabricated from Escort, JAC, and real steel parts.

Eventually I received the parcel minus the SEF trigger group. In its stead was a detention notice from CBSA indicating a "RECEIVER" had been detained as it was a prohibited weapon. Needless to say I was pretty upset, however I telephoned the number listed and spoke with a few of the people involved. I kept my demeanor polite and understanding, explaining that I realize CBSA has a duty to protect the citizenry from contraband and that I welcomed an opportunity to correct an error made in good faith. The seizing officer was immensely thankful that I understood their position, citing that most people call and yell at them rather than lodge a reasoned objection. She even welcomed my appeal and the opportunity to be proven wrong on the issue, and learn something about firearms in the process.

I called the adjudicator listed on the form and explained my reasoning, that the upper receiver on an MP5 was the part that housed the serial number and would be the controlled part rather than the grip frame. I made no attempt to hide the fact this part was for an airsoft gun; in fact I was very open with that as it would likely have been more of an issue had it been for a real MP5. I also laid out my qualifications as a federally licensed verifier for the Canada Firearms Registry and advised that the RCMP Firearms Reference Table may shed some more light on the issue. The adjudicator thanked me for the info and said he'd send a written confirmation of my "appeal" shortly.

I had intended to prepare a thorough written appeal with supporting documentation, photographs, and web links to bolster my argument. However as fireworks season was in full swing at that point I had zero time to do any of it. Knowing it usually takes CBSA months to get anything like this accomplished I put it on the back burner.

Then last week I get a Canada Post delivery notice in my mailbox. I was expecting some parts out of Hong Kong so I was very perplexed to see the post office lady bring out an XpressPost bubble mailer, and even more puzzled when I saw the return address was CBSA. I opened the bag to reveal my SEF lower, and a four page "Detailed Adjustment Statement" that laid out the verdict that my lower was indeed admissible to Canada!

So I suppose the lesson is, if you play by the rules and put forward a reasoned case, and probably most importantly respect those that are holding the cards, you can usually get what you want.







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Old September 18th, 2007, 03:53   #2
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I suppose this was an exceptional/odd case, because the MP5 upper is restricted, as opposed to every other gun where the lower is restricted.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:11   #3
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So they took your trigger then sent it to you after you complained?
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:12   #4
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It was the entire lower receiver, as I understand it.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:12   #5
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Ah... i thought upper and lower are a no no...

Edit: wait so since the lower and grip is once peice (if i understand this), it means that this time it was ok?
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Last edited by Ronan; September 18th, 2007 at 04:15..
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:18   #6
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Ah... i thought upper and lower are a no no...

Edit: wait so since the lower and grip is once peice (if i understand this), it means that this time it was ok?
You need to look at what the controlled part of the firearm is to make that determination.

In Canada, control is determined by serial numbers.

In the case of the MP5, the upper is what carries the serial number, and as a result, is what is controlled - not the lower.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:20   #7
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You need to look at what the controlled part of the firearm is to make that determination.

In Canada, control is determined by serial numbers.

In the case of the MP5, the upper is what carries the serial number, and as a result, is what is controlled - not the lower.
Ah ok... what about a metal body with no serial number? Or that doesn't matter?

Also the serial number on a real M4 is on the lower, does that mean i can get a upper in?
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:25   #8
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Ah ok... what about a metal body with no serial number? Or that doesn't matter?

Also the serial number on a real M4 is on the lower, does that mean i can get a upper in?
Do some research. And read my post. Most LOWER receivers are restricted. You could order all the M4 upper receivers you want.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:30   #9
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The point I'm trying to make here is that CBSA sometimes seizes parts because they aren't aware of what's allowed and what isn't. What's significant about my case is that the government ruled, in writing, that airsoft gun parts that would not be considered the controlled part of a firearm, are admissible as toy gun parts/accessories. This doesn't give everyone carte blanche on importation, though it could prove useful to those that have had other parts seized and need to make a similar case.

And no, not having a serial number on a lower receiver doesn't exclude it from being controlled. Whichever is the controlled part on the real gun is the controlled part on the airsoft gun. Therefore an AR-15 upper receiver is uncontrolled and admissible to Canada without restrictions.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:30   #10
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Hmm at least i'll have 50% of my new metal body!
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Yes it is hard to find an Instructor that teaches how to Finger, Suck, Squeeze and Blow all at the same time.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 11:26   #11
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Ahh the green and white slip of death. How I have "not" missed you at all.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 11:40   #12
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I dunno ronan about putting real steel on your airsoft gun

(tell me if it fits)
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Old September 18th, 2007, 12:45   #13
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Quote:
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I dunno ronan about putting real steel on your airsoft gun

(tell me if it fits)
Uh, there ARE metal bodies for airsoft guns, you know.
*confused*
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Old September 18th, 2007, 12:53   #14
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Old September 18th, 2007, 12:53   #15
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Wow, the lack of reading comprehension completely blows my mind...
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